Is spamming really bad? Most of the successful social networks actually did..

Most of the startup founders, I know are very ethical – they hate spamming people. And sometimes, when they even try to spam (to several Y!/G groups etc) they are shot down by the community.

But is spamming really bad? The obvious answer is Yes.

And the not-so-obvious answer is It depends“.
Let’s look at how successful social networks successfully created that buzz (i.e. spammed):

  • MySpace used their ResponseBase email marketing list of 100 million+ people to send for first users.
  • Facebook spammed all the Harvard email lists to get the first 2,000 users in a day.
  • Hi5 used their previous dating site to send a considerable amount of traffic to.
  • Bebo used their original site BirthdayAlarm.com to have a huge user base to start with.
  • Friendster and Orkut, started naturally and virally through a very limited invite system. [source]

So, will you really think twice before spamming?

What’s really beneficial about spamming is that if done well, one can attract the not-so-tech-savvy users (who doesn’t care about spamming) and isn’t that your typical user base? Your initial users?

What’s your opinion?
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